clash occurred in Baku between believers of “Haji Javad”
mosque and police officers on March 12. Mosque-goers oppose the demolition of the mosque, which is included in the list of architectural monuments protected by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan.
This afternoon several hundred people gathered at the mosque
, located on the territory of the former “Soviet” district. Many of them were concerned that the mosque would be
demolished by the municipality
as part of a plan to improve Baku’s infrastructure.
Representatives of the municipality arrived on site to demolish the mosque, however mosque-goers encircled the mosque to prevent workers from entering the site. Several people gathered inside the mosque and began to pray.
A large number of policemen were called in, as a result of which parishioners and police officers clashed. Several people were detained.
First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyubov and the head of Yasamal District administration Ibrahim Mehtiyev arrived at the scene. They refused to communicate with journalists.
The congregation claims that they came to the mosque after they learned about its possible demolition. The nearby mosque “Haji Abduraghimbek Gulubekov” was demolished similarly overnight, and they are afraid that the mosque “Haji Javad” will share its fate.
The tense atmosphere around the mosque continues. Some of the believers left the territory, but the rest declare that they will fight to the end and try to stop the demolition of the dilapidated mosque.
On April 11, the leadership and parishioners of the mosque “Haji Javad” appealed to the President of the country, Ilham Aliyev, with a request to solve this issue and preserve this important architectural monument of Baku.
Deputy chief of Baku City Police Department Major-General Saylab Bagirov told reporters that the mosque operates without state registration.
He noted that all buildings in “Soviet” district fall under the same category.
“Whatever decision will be made in connection with the fate of the mosque, then it will be executed.”
As for the tense situation in the territory, he said: “I am here, there is no tension. Whatever the law demands will be done”.
In turn, chairman of the Caucasian Muslim Board Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade said that he was “as a religious figure against the demolition of any mosque.”
As for the Haji Javad and the already demolished mosque “Haji Abduraghimbek Gulubekov,” Pashazade noted that none of these mosques had been registered with the Caucasian Muslim Board.
The Haji Javad mosque was constructed in 1912.